Phantom Tour Question

Fagnes Gooch
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Phantom Tour Question#1
Posted: 11/6/19 at 11:47pm
Heading to Chicago on business in December and have the chance to see POTO, something I havent done in 30 years. When I saw it, I sat in the Majestics balcony, which afforded a great chance to see the Phantom himself up high, fooling around with the ropes of the chandelier.

Wondering if thats done on the tour. Id like to see it from that angle again, but would opt for an orchestra seat if the Phantom doesnt do that on the tour.

Can anyone advise? It may be a thing at some theatres versus others on the tour. This is going to be playing the Palace in Chicago.
tourboi
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Phantom Tour Question#2
Posted: 11/6/19 at 11:58pm
The Phantom interacts in a different way at the end of the act. Go for orchestra and try to be as close to the chandelier as possible, if not under it. The tour chandelier falls rather fast.
Fagnes Gooch
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Phantom Tour Question#3
Posted: 11/7/19 at 12:01am

Lightning fast response and quite supportive. Sincere thanks!

Updated On: 11/7/19 at 12:01 AM
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Phantom Tour Question#4
Posted: 11/7/19 at 12:01am

Keep in mind that it's a very different physical production that is out on the road now that is extremely different from what you saw in the Majestic 30 years ago.

Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
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Phantom Tour Question#5
Posted: 11/7/19 at 8:48am

AEA AGMA SM said: "Keep in mind that it's a very different physical production that is out on the road now that is extremely different from what you saw in the Majestic 30 years ago."

Exactly.  Though the original tour of the show DID recreate the original Broadway production, the touring production has since been redesigned, recostumed and restaged so it’s now a watered-down version.  If you want to see the original 1988 Broadway production in its full original glory, you need to see the show on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre. 

 

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BrodyFosse123
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Phantom Tour Question#6
Posted: 11/7/19 at 9:51am

Here is the promo for the “new” touring production.  You’ll get glimpses of the new sets and design and one of the most jarring changes: “Masquerade.”   Gone is the breathtaking enormous stair case staging and the skeleton head costume of the Phantom.  Again, all this remains in the Broadway production in NYC.  

 

 

Updated On: 11/7/19 at 09:51 AM
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Phantom Tour Question#7
Posted: 11/7/19 at 12:00pm
The costumes on the new tour are the biggest travesty, and I’m confused why they didn’t just do a new redesign of those as well. “Masquerade” especially was head-scratching as they looked like the Party City knockoff versions of Maria Bjornsen’s original designs.

I honestly would have judged the entire product less harshly, I believe, if they had done a new costume design to go with everything else that was new.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
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Phantom Tour Question#8
Posted: 11/7/19 at 12:30pm
I generally welcome new productions, and I have NOT seen this new version, but so many posters on BWW have stated in previous threads that they do not like the new design. Several have said they need to return or have returned to the NY version to erase the bad memory.

It's holiday time in Chicago. I recommend several shows.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Goodman. Beautiful stagecraft.

THE NUTCRACKER at the Chopin Theatre, produced by the House Theatre. This is a stirring, in-the-round play version with original music - not the ballet. I try not to cry every year during the poignant opening scene.

The ANNOYANCE THEATRE CHRISTMAS PAGEANT is low rent magic, with bare bone recreations of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and Peanuts' Christmas. Come for the nostalgic storylines and perfect 3 piece band.
Fagnes Gooch
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Phantom Tour Question#9
Posted: 11/7/19 at 12:34pm

Great feedback. I genuinely appreciate it. 
 

I’ll skip this altogether. The majesty of the original is seared into my brain, thirty years later. It’s probably best that I save those memories and pass on the tour.

Updated On: 11/7/19 at 12:34 PM
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Phantom Tour Question#10
Posted: 11/8/19 at 1:11pm

Fagnes Gooch said: "I’ll skip this altogether. The majesty of the original is seared into my brain, thirty years later. It’s probably best that I save those memories and pass on the tour."

Wise decision.

 

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

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Phantom Tour Question#11
Posted: 11/8/19 at 5:04pm

Normally I would encourage people to see a show and make up their own mind but in this case, what Cameron has done to Phantom and Les Miserables is truly heartbreaking, and if you've already seen the show on Broadway I would agree there is simply no reason to see this tour. I will say, if you have the opportunity sometime soon, see the current cast of Phantom on Broadway. The show is in great shape at the moment. I'm cautiously optimistic the show will remain in great shape for years to come, but with the loss of Gillian Lynne and especially Hal Prince, it's hard to speculate. The associate directors and choreographers have some big shoes to fill.

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Phantom Tour Question#12
Posted: 11/8/19 at 6:52pm

Having seen the UK version of the current tour (in rehearsals in Plymouth and from the audience in Cardiff) I wouldn’t be so quick to lambaste it as a few have here. I’m never going to say it compares to the Hal Prince version, but there are a few interesting additions that made it worthwhile for me, most notably the extra glimpses of the Phantom backstage in Act 1 and the views from the wings. I assume, as in the UK version 95% of the costumes ARE either Maria’s designs or have been reinterpreted by her original collaborators so it strikes me as odd to damn the entire wardrobe because of 1 of 2 issues.

That said, yes, Masquerade pales in comparison (as does the Rooftop and Mausoleum) and I found the chandelier “gimmicky” but other aspects of the set are impressive at it is entirely wrong to say it is a cheap version (though I think it lacks the consistency and style of Hal/Maria’s black box original). In fact I think it’s more expensive to transport because of Paul Brown’s more literal sets. You could be mistaken for thinking this was executed by people with no respect or love for the original when reading some opinions which, I know from experience is just not the case. 

Would I go to the Majestic/Her Majesty’s if given the choice? Definitely. But that wouldn’t stop me from going to see this if it were in my area and enjoying a new take on a modern classic. It’s interesting to note the upcoming UK tour has reverted back to the original staging so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the US gets to see the Björnson set back on the road in future too.

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Phantom Tour Question#13
Posted: 11/9/19 at 10:42am

I have no doubt the new "world tour" will end up in North America within the next few years, probably advertised as "the brilliant original" or something similar.

However, this is still NOT a replica staging of the original Prince/ Björnson touring production, and it does water-down certain scenic elements and effects.

Most notably, the chandelier travels on a track, much like the version which is available to rent for school productions. It moves in a very similar fashion to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lci_WAiONHw

The track gets in the way of the angel statue, which is no longer present at the top center of the proscenium.  The angel statue is used during the rooftop scene, but only as a standalone prop on stage for the Phantom to hide in and appear from.

As the cast bows in front of the closed red curtains, the Phantom is briefly illuminated behind them to shout "Go!" before the chandelier falls.

There are photos where some of the adapted designs are visible here: https://www.edwardpierce.com/phantomoftheopera

"I'm seeing the LuPone in Key West later this week. I'm hoping for great vocals and some sort of insane breakdown..." - BenjaminNicholas2

Dr. Jennifer Rinaldi will live on forever. Someone get her a Tony.
Updated On: 11/9/19 at 10:42 AM
Rycbar
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Phantom Tour Question#14
Posted: 11/10/19 at 11:41am
I really enjoyed the new tour production. I saw it I think about two years ago At the Kennedy Center in DC. I have seen it twice on Broadway but both times I was fairly far back once in The balconies and this past summer standing room only. I also saw it at the Kennedy Center when I was about 12 with the original touring production. Both times I was at the Kennedy Center I sat relatively close in the orchestra section. The tour production is not the same but still very enjoyable. I thought it was neat to see a different perspective. If you can find a reasonably priced ticket in the orchestra near the front of the stage I would definitely recommend seeing it. I agree sitting under the chandelier word add to the experience.
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Phantom Tour Question#15
Posted: 11/10/19 at 11:54am

Fagnes Gooch said: "Great feedback. I genuinely appreciate it.


I’llskip this altogether. The majesty of the original is seared into my brain, thirty years later. It’s probably best that I save those memories and pass on the tour.
"

VERY wise decision. The current tour is nothing short of a travesty.

 

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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Phantom Tour Question#16
Posted: 11/11/19 at 7:40am

sbflyfan said: "I have no doubt the new "world tour" will end up in North America within the next few years, probably advertised as "the brilliant original" or something similar.

However, this is still NOT a replica staging of the original Prince/ Björnson touring production, and it does water-down certain scenic elements and effects.

Most notably, the chandelier travels on a track, much like the version which is available to rent for school productions. It moves in a very similar fashion to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lci_WAiONHw

The track gets in the way of the angel statue, which is no longer present at the top center of the proscenium. The angel statue is used during the rooftop scene, but only as a standalone prop on stage for the Phantom to hide in and appear from.

As the cast bows in front of the closed red curtains, the Phantom is briefly illuminated behind them to shout "Go!" before the chandelier falls.

There are photos where some of the adapted designs are visible here: https://www.edwardpierce.com/phantomoftheopera
"

If this were to tour the US in 5-10 years from now, I could live with the changes. My only tiny issue is I still feel they could design something to go up in the proscenium between the tracks so it doesnt look so bare. Also from the press clip in Dubai, the deck candles seem to be only about a quarter of the amount of candles usually used. 

But the lighting is gorgeous and it looks wonderful.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
Seperite
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Phantom Tour Question#17
Posted: 11/11/19 at 8:28am

I read that the Vegas rendition, which evidently closed after running for many years, was a trimmed-down version that cut the length of the piece down to under an hour.

THAT would be an improvement. I saw Phantom this past weekend for the first time in many years, and man, I forgot how much of the show is devoted to utterly blah scenes of palace intrigue between the new owners of the theater and the cast, rehearsal for the operas, performance of the operas, etc. Probably a third to half the show is devoted to this altogether less-than-arresting time filler. If there's a version out there that focuses exclusively (or primarily) on the three central characters, that would be much, much better.

Lloyd Webber could have given us more scenes depicting the Phantom's early life, or Christine's training with her 'angel of music', or her own early life struggling to make it out of the chorus line...but instead we have scene after scene of operas, rehearsals of operas, incomprehensible jabber about mysterious letters, etc. Seems like such a waste of time when the rest of the material is as good and arresting as it is.

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Phantom Tour Question#18
Posted: 11/11/19 at 10:35am

Justin D said: "If this were to tour the US in 5-10 years from now, I could live with the changes. My only tiny issue is I still feel they could design something to go up in the proscenium between the tracks so it doesnt look so bare. Also from the press clip in Dubai, the deck candles seem to be only about a quarter of the amount of candles usually used.

But the lighting is gorgeous and it looks wonderful.
"

If they were to bring this tour over to the US they wouldn't have to use the track, as a large majority of the touring venues hosted the original tour and have all of the front of house pick points available to use the original rigging for the chandelier. That original tour proscenium is definitely sitting somewhere in a warehouse, that's not the kind of thing you trash, even when the tour seems to be closed indefinitely.

Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
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Phantom Tour Question#19
Posted: 11/11/19 at 10:37am

Seperite said: "I read that the Vegas rendition, which evidently closed after running for many years, was a trimmed-down version that cut the length of the piece down to under an hour."

The Vegas Phantom was 90 minutes, not an hour. It was mostly achieved by cutting second or third verses of songs rather than cutting whole scenes or songs all together. I don’t think any scenes or songs were entirely cut.

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Phantom Tour Question#20
Posted: 11/11/19 at 11:52am

I'm 95% sure that the entire Don Juan rehearsal scene was cut and we went right from the end of the second managers' scene/Notes II (which was also truncated) directly to the graveyard for "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again." Many of the other cuts resembled cuts to the recitative and book scenes that were made for the original cast recording.

That Vegas chandelier was indeed spectacular!

Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
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Phantom Tour Question#21
Posted: 11/11/19 at 12:45pm

AEA AGMA SM said: "Justin D said: "If this were to tour the US in 5-10 years from now, I could live with the changes. My only tiny issue is I still feel they could design something to go up in the proscenium between the tracks so it doesnt look so bare. Also from the press clip in Dubai, the deck candles seem to be only about a quarter of the amount of candles usually used.

But the lighting is gorgeous and it looks wonderful.
"

If they were to bring this tour over to the US they wouldn't have to use the track, as a large majority of the touring venues hosted the original tour and have all of the front of house pick points available to use the original rigging for the chandelier. That original tour proscenium is definitely sitting somewhere in a warehouse, that's not the kind of thing you trash, even when the tour seems to be closed indefinitely.
"

I'm replying to both posts...

Justin, I agree. I'd gladly see this on the road instead of the current touring production.  And yes, the proscenium is just WAY too empty, all the way across the top.  Love your model, by the way!  I imagine Maria would be so impressed by your dedication.

AEA AGMA SM: I'm guessing the point of the watered-down scenic elements and "tracked" chandelier is to reduce load-in times and significantly reduce (or eliminate) any jump sets. 

The front of the track could possibly be using the same front-of-house point the original chandelier did. It's possibly just an easier design for them to install, test and control.  It doesn't drop down and get pulled inward, but instead it "drives" towards the stage and lowers down.

Looks slightly cheapened, but if it gets (most of) the original production back out on the road, I'll take it.

 

"I'm seeing the LuPone in Key West later this week. I'm hoping for great vocals and some sort of insane breakdown..." - BenjaminNicholas2

Dr. Jennifer Rinaldi will live on forever. Someone get her a Tony.
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Phantom Tour Question#22
Posted: 11/11/19 at 1:08pm

Seperite said: "I forgot how much of the show is devoted to utterly blah scenes of palace intrigue between the new owners of the theater and the cast, rehearsal for the operas, performance of the operas, etc. Probably a third to half the show is devoted to this altogether less-than-arresting time filler."

I beg to differ. The scenes you dismiss as "blah" and "filler" set up the motivations and relationships between the characters. They also include some wonderful music. The one scene that was completely removed from the 90-minute "Vegas Spectacular" production was the Rehearsal for Don Juan Triumphant, which is one of my absolute favorites in the show, for both its music and character interaction.

Seperite said: "Lloyd Webber could have given us more scenes depicting the Phantom's early life, or Christine's training with her 'angel of music', or her own early life struggling to make it out of the chorus line...but instead we have scene after scene of operas, rehearsals of operas, incomprehensible jabber about mysterious letters, etc. Seems like such a waste of time when the rest of the material is as good and arresting as it is."

Clearly you've never read the original Leroux novel on which the show is based (as is indicated in the credits). The scenes you're requesting are virtually nonexistent in the book and would have to have been completely fabricated for the musical. Given the amount of flack ALW received for daring to envision non-canon futures for these characters in Love Never Dies, one can only imagine the outrage if he'd have added significant, non-canon plot points to the original story.

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

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- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
Updated On: 11/11/19 at 01:08 PM
Fosse76
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Phantom Tour Question#23
Posted: 11/11/19 at 3:20pm

Lot666 said: "The one scene that was completely removed from the 90-minute "Vegas Spectacular" production was the Rehearsal for Don Juan Triumphant, which is one of my absolute favorites in the show, for both its music and character interaction."

This scene offers nothing to the show other than covering up the set transition for the graveyard scene. We here the music later during Don Juan Triumphant. The characters' anxiety over the opera ghost is well-established by this point. In fact, the scene barely makes sense, considering Christine had literally  just run off the stage declaring she can't /won't do the opera, and now all of a sudden she's rehearsing it. 

Clearly you've never read the original Leroux novel on which the show is based (as is indicated in the credits). The scenes you're requesting are virtually nonexistent in the book and would have to have been completely fabricated for the musical. Given the amount of flack ALW received for daring to envision non-canon futures for these characters in Love Never Dies, one can only imagine the outrage if he'd have added significant, non-canon plot points to the original story."

He'd already taken liberties with the source material, but personally I don't think the back story is needed. We don't always need a character's motivation.

 

Seperite
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Phantom Tour Question#24
Posted: 11/11/19 at 5:58pm

I love how discussions of varying viewpoints invariably lead to snooty, snide comments ("Clearly, you've never read the Leroux novel"Phantom Tour Question.

Equally clear is the fact that those who adapt others' work for different media always, always, take liberty with the source material, including both making additions and taking things away; that's what makes the work their own. I'm guessing the Leroux novel didn't feature the Phantom singing every line of text and/or harmonizing with Raoul, either, but there are changes every piece of art adapted from another has to make. The enormous amount of stage-time devoted to the travails of the various peripheral characters could have been better spent on other things -- including, perhaps, scenes from the novel that must have been omitted from the shown, if inventing new scenes out of whole cloth would have been deemed too radical.

The other problem: much of the lyrics sung in the peripheral-character scenes cannot be heard/understood by the audience, in large part because in several of those scenes, many characters are singing different lyrics at the same time. I was sitting fourth row center the other day, and there is nothing wrong with my hearing, but I could not make out what was being said in those group scenes with all of the characters jabbering away, either because of the operatic lilt in their voice, or because they were all singing at once. I had one of those closed captioning devices that enabled me to read what they were saying, but those were not around when Lloyd Webber wrote this decades ago. To the extent that these scenes are important, interesting, or entertaining, I really don't get why it was written this way.

The music from Phantom is some of the best known in the entire canon of musical theater, but no one goes around humming anything Piangi, Carlotta, Firmin, Giry, etc. sings or says. 

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Phantom Tour Question#25
Posted: 11/11/19 at 10:29pm

Seperite said: "The music from Phantom is some of the best known in the entire canon of musical theater, but no one goes around humming anything Piangi, Carlotta, Firmin, Giry, etc. sings or says."

I have to admit I frequently hum or sing “Notes/Prima Donna” to myself on my drive home from work. I get how some people wouldn’t like all the simultaneous singing in the verses, but I love the way the voices all combine into a beautiful discordance of sounds. It and “Masquerade” are my favorite songs. It’s art...everyone finds different aspects to enjoy and elements that don’t work for him/herself.